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About 40,000 acres of oats were harvested in Michigan in 2014. Michigan’s oats are grown for a variety of reasons including feed grain, forage, cover crop and seed production. Oats as a feed grain fill a niche in today’s livestock production systems. Oats have always been a popular grain feed for horses. They are “bulky” and unlikely to cause digestive disturbances. They can be fed to beef and dairy cattle with little processing needed in most cases. Dry rolling or steam rolling increases dry matter intake of oats.
Energy content is lower than other cereal grains due to the presence of the hull, which makes up about 24-30 percent of the kernel weight.
Hulless, or “naked,” oats lack the hull present on common oats. Oat hulls contain about 30 crude fiber and are low in nutritive value. Without it, the oat grain has a higher percentage of digestible carbohydrate and protein. Conventional hulled oats can be grown successfully even in the coldest, shortest growing season areas of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Michigan State University Extension has published results of oat variety trials conducted at the MSU Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center in Chatham, Michigan, on an annual or bi-annual schedule for many years. However,
A 2013 University of Vermont Oat Variety Trial Report included nine conventional oat varieties and Streaker
Regardless of the lack of locally generated research information,
Hulless oats may provide an interesting option for farmers seeking to produce a
Source: Jim Isleib, Michigan State University Extension
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